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Port City Music Festival kicks off with free concert

Port City Music Festival kicks off with free concert
Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 9:36 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A free music event is drawing crowds to Wilmington to enjoy the works of composers like Wolfgang Mozart and Antonio Vivaldi.

It’s Port City Music Festival’s 14th annual event. This year’s concerts will feature several returning artists such as pianist David Lau and vocalist Kyle Engler. Violinist Gared Crawford is joining the event for the first time, playing several pieces later this week on Thursday, Friday and again next Sunday.

We didn’t have the chance to get together before coming here, so it was up to each of us to study the piece, practice,” said Crawford. “Then, when you get here, you play together. It can be sometimes very different than what you were expecting.”

Sunday’s concert included both instrumental and vocal pieces from composers like Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. The hour-long event drew in crowds with a variety of backgrounds, which is largely the point of this festival.

While not everyone will have the chance to see a live opera or an orchestra in concert, this week’s concerts are free to the public. Another hope is that these concerts will attract more young people to classical music.

“This is where classical music and Broadway and other types of culture have intersected. It’s a wonderful art form,” said musical director Dr. Stepen Framil. “It’s one that as you get to know it, you’re going to experience it and find new ways to listen to music.”

One of the youngest attendees on Sunday was 19-year-old Jordyn Fyshcan, a percussionist attending NC State. She says seeing the performances from the perspective of a musician gave her a unique experience.

“It was really interesting because they all complemented each other in different ways,” said Fyshcan. “I think it’ll be very interesting to see where this festival will go for the first time for me.”

The week-long event runs until Sunday, June 12. Each concert is at a different venue and is open to the public. You can find more details here.

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